A US-based private equity firm has bid $3.2 billion to buy OSN (the former Orbit-Showtime Network). The news emerged from 60.5 per cent owner KIPCO (the Kuwait Investment Projects Co) which reported the bid in a filing to the Kwait bourse on August 10th.
Saudi Arabia’s Mawarid Group owns the rest of OSN, and both KIPCO and Mawarid have rejected the bid offer.
The offer to buy OSN was based on a cash payment of $2.4 billion and a further $800 million which was based on certain conditions being met. KIPCO stated that the offer was for between 51 per cent and 100 per cent of the pay-TV business, but did not elaborate on the precise percentage being sought.
The market has heard various rumours and reports that KIPCO was prepared to sell, or mount an IPO, but – to date – nothing has happened.
A Dubai-based financial institution said last year that OSN was valued at $4.3 billion.